The new beginnings never end at the split-level multiroaster cafe January Coffee, which just celebrated its grand opening in Boulder, Colorado.
With two floors of seating and an outdoor patio, the cafe offers guests a menu of classic and creative espresso drinks, drip coffee, cold brew and manual brews, all kept in perpetual freshness through the introduction of different roasting companies every few months.
For consistency, the house espresso at the shop co-founded by married couple Kristi Persinger and John Imig is the Geometry blend by Arkansas-based Onyx Coffee Lab. Two additional roasters are rotated in on a staggered basis throughout the year. For the opening season, the shop is featuring beans from San Francisco’s Ritual Coffee Roasters and Oakland’s Mother Tongue Coffee.
Imig and Persinger bring years of specialty coffee experience to January — Imig at Intelligentsia and La Colombe, Persinger at Stumptown, and both for a time at local Boulder’s own Ozo Coffee. Both now fully embrace the multiroaster mentality.
“We select roasters whose values align with our own, who are sourcing and roasting great coffees, and are all around good people,” John Imig told Daily Coffee News. “We especially love working with coffee folks who we have existing relationships with from our years of working in the industry, like Jen Apodaca [of Mother Tongue]. Ultimately, we request samples from roasters we already like or are interested in that fit the bill, then blind cup them, selecting coffees that fit our concept.”
January Coffee, whose name is partly inspired by Persinger and Imig’s anniversary month, offers roughly 1,100 square feet of space downstairs and about 700 more in the loft overhead.
“The downstairs feels more like a bustling big city cafe with striking tile, a sleek wooden slat bar, and minimalist furniture, with the loft seating feeling more like a living room with a sofa and communal seating,” Kristi Persinger told DCN. “It feels a lot like our own house, actually.”
Murals painted by Persinger and Imig live at both ends of the loft space — mountains on one end and a desert scape on the other — depicting nature scenes from the couple’s own adventures.
Housemade syrups introduce additional colors to the drinks menu, which will soon feature seasonal specials, espresso tonics and shaken drinks. The current special, called Roses are Dead, features a rose-cardamom honey syrup added to nitro cold brew topped with oat milk foam and a dried rose petal garnish.
Said Persinger, “Roasting isn’t exactly off the table for us in the future, but we wanted to start by doing what we love and do best — running a coffee shop and providing a great experience.”
New beginnings and experimentation are a big part of that experience, as the shop in name and spirit embraces the reference of the Roman god of gateways and transitions, Janus.
“Now that our job involves tasting coffees from so many roasters and observing their individual approaches to sourcing and roasting, we’re constantly learning and having more fun with coffee than ever before,” said Persinger. “Fun is one of our biggest priorities. And if we’re not having fun, we’re doing it wrong.”
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.